Case Studies

Logistics Consultancy

Intercont was called in to consult for a Fortune 500 company in India. Through systematic tools of analysis, we identified key lacunae in their trucking cycle and inventory management practices. What we also observed was deficient paperwork being filed in customs leading to bureaucratic delays thereby reducing lead-time by 3.5 days per freight lot. On the consignee’s end, there were sharp gaps in consolidation and hub/spoke delivery mechanisms. Furthermore, the quotation process followed by the client was inefficient, as it did not permit them to benefit from downswings in the freight market.

Intercont then created a detailed plan of action, which was duly implemented by the client. The results were staggering as the annualised saving was 27%.

Third and Fourth Country Cross Trading – Europe, India and The Middle East

Rules regarding paperwork/documentation can change at a moment’s notice. Unforeseen circumstance may render the planned freight method untenable.

A European country raised an invoice on a 38.6-ton lot of goods of Indian origin, to be shipped to a Middle Eastern country. 

At the time this order was accepted, the paperwork was made ready to ship from the manufacturing country to the destination, based on an invoice from a European country. However at time of shipping ti was learnt of the law having being changed by government notification and the paperwork thus was no longer valid.

In an environment where clear guidelines had yet to be issued on how goods would be processed, time was running out for Intercont because freight risk being delayed and cancelled due to its installation commitment.

In a short space of 22 hours, we designed and created a fresh set of documents that foresaw and avoided all the possible loopholes, resulting in the cargo reaching the destination country on time. 3 cross-functional teams simultaneously examined all facets of the operation and delivered the project seamlessly. Authorities in all countries praised Intercont’s handling of this case and expressed deep appreciation for our efforts. 

Staying Updated On Laws and Regulations

A global giant in the optical industry with Indian Red Cross as part of its CSR campaign held in India, camp for eyesight testing and free distribution of prescription glasses. The initiative was to benefit people who could not afford eyeglasses. Participants of the camp would get their vision tested and be given used prescription spectacles, which were from collected from its users abroad.

Used prescription glasses are a restricted product, and there was no procedure on how to value them. Intercont created paperwork from scratch and presented the case in customs which benefitted 75000 people with free, duly sanitised prescription spectacles thus making the CSR campaign of the global giant a success.

Packaging Design and Re-Engineering

A major player in the pharmaceutical industry signed a freight contract with Intercont and required a bespoke solution for packaging. After contacting outside providers, the client expressed dissatisfaction as the options were either inefficient in terms of cost and/or transportation.

A significant advantage that Intercont enjoys is using extensive knowledge of freight with the latest innovations in packaging to create an optimum balance. 

Our packaging was put through rigorous testing and it was rated the highest among the competition. Our tie-ups with manufactures ensure that we can deliver quality from scratch.

After adopting this method, the client estimated savings of 11 % in terms of cost and 21 % in transit time

Network Creation and Strategic Sourcing, From New Delhi (India) to Chicago (USA) Via New York (USA)

A client’s cargo was destined for International Housewares Show, held in - Mc Cormark Centre Chicago, USA for an important brand launch exhibition to be inaugurated by the worldwide head of the organisation.

The client insisted on flying to New York and trucking the goods from there to save money on freight, despite a strong indication to the contrary from Intercont. They assured us that they had everything under control and would take charge of the shipment once it had landed.

It rained that weekend, making it impossible to transport the shipment from the city of landing to the city where the exhibition was to be held. The client requested Intercont’s intervention.

Overnight, we organized a trucking solution that got the cargo safely to the exhibition venue in Chicago on time.
The employee we worked with also credited us with saving his job!

Inventory and Resource Optimisation

A client approached us with a time schedule and a budget to ship 730 tonnes of locomotive gearboxes by air in a 1-month window from Chennai to Chicago.

We identified carriers that would best suit the client’s requirements. Through our extensive network and leverages in the market, we obtained amicable pricing for the movement that was substantially below the budgeted amount.

Traditionally, the role of the freight forwarder ends with obtaining pricing but Intercont delivers far beyond this norm.

Through our expertise in inventory management, we devised a sea-air solution based on push/pull factors and consignee demand.

Due to this, not only did we cut costs by obtaining the best price points from the market but also pushed down costs by optimising inventory management. This led to a cumulative reduction of 34% against the original budget.

This arrangement proved to be viable to the extent that 395 tons were moved vis-à-vis the stated 32 in a period of 3 months.

Production and Freight Integration

A Fortune 500 company was paying what we thought was exorbitant airfreight, and could significantly reduce their transportation costs by reworking the way they manage production.

We persevered, asking the client for a chance to prove our point. Our consulting teams got to work, came up with 3 suggestions and defined KPIs to gauge progress:

  • Reworking the production plan based on point-specific inputs 
  • Redesigning the product’s packaging
  • Re-laying procedures and processes

Implementing this 3-step action plan brought down the cost of freight by 18%.

Delivery to Conflict Zones

A private contractor was running a fleet of vehicles in Congo. He received a sizeable tender to expand his network and enhance distribution nodes, requiring him to add 89 additional vehicles within a month lest he would lose the business.

Given the significant risk to life and property involved, all freight forwarders involved in the process declined to bid.

Our teams flew down and established on-ground presence to execute the same. Using years of expertise in multimodal transportation, the order was fulfilled till the last time with due security and insurance requirements.

Seamless Integration of Accurate, Real-Time Information

One of our clients had a high-pressure just in time production line requiring precise freight management. It was crucial to provide real-time, relevant updates, else a multi-million dollar operation would be ruined. 

It was equally important to link with the client’s existing IT interface to ensure clarity of understanding. 

Intercont’s IT personnel stepped up their game and created a bespoke solution that generated us applause.

One Client in UK , even suggested to have it Copyright Registered as it was by far the most comprehensive  & logical information they had used , far superior than the ones being used of largest forwarding companies.

Examining Every Detail of Your Operation with Making Any Assumptions – From India to New York During the Air Traffic Shutdown Owing to The Eruption Of Eyjafjallajokull

The eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland caused frequent disruptions in air traffic from April – June 2010.

The entire flight path to New York via Europe was blocked due to the ash, and thousands of tons of cargo were blocked in India and Europe.

The delivery of this particular cargo was time critical to our client for execution of their project lest they would lose out on a crucial contract

Intercont worked out a solution to land the cargo into Zurich, truck it into Geneva and airlift it to NYC, as this was the only flight path not affected by ash.

We maintained the arrival of goods as required by the customer and consignee, and the project became operational on time.

By meeting all deadlines, saved Cargo worth $3.8million, and received accolades for this effort.

These deadlines were not only due importance of time, but more pressure was caused the cargo being fragile and required specialised handling.

Pursuing Every Opportunity to Reduce Cost and Time

A Fortune 500 company’s UK office approached Intercont’s India department for a freight quote. After duly examining the entire logistics framework, we proposed importation under a zero-duty system and quoted accordingly.

The client responded rather firmly stating that delivery without duty was not possible since all other forwarders quoted on a dutiable basis.

We offered to deliver the goods at our risk; Intercont would pay any duty billed against the shipment.

Our goods landed on time in perfect condition – without any duty being levied.

The customer called us to make a confession. They’d spent £3.4 million over the past 2 years on customs duty for these never-been-dutiable goods. 

We provided them due technical assistance to clarify their legal standing and pursue action to recover paid-up duty.

Since then, we have enjoyed a long-standing relationship and deliver for them the world-over.

Bringing Fresh Perspectives to Old and New Issues That Plague You

Because the existing provider did not deliver as promised, customers would have paid demurrage for no fault of theirs. Intercont believed this was unjustified demurrage. The delay leading to the demurrage had been caused by system inefficiencies of the airport cargo management body, and we refused to pay it.

We were asked to defend our refusal, and we listed numerous ways in which it was the airport’s management that had caused the shipment to stay on longer than necessary. Intercont’s plea succeeded and the demurrage charge was dropped.

As a result, none of the clients paid demurrage during the period.

Then we received an invitation from the airport cargo management company to streamline their operations and reduce turnaround time.

Intercont’s team sat there for as long as it took to identify the inefficiencies and suggest alternatives. The cargo management company commissioned customized Product Management Software based on our recommendations.

Operational efficiency improved overnight because bottlenecks were removed, and freight was moving just in time thereby saving shippers both demurrages and delays in shipments.

Solution Mindset

A electrical goods giant in India for a South Africa LCL shipment used another forwarder, who loaded in the container which was susbequently stopped from leaving the country on account of intelligence tip off. 

Customer called seeking assistance, though the rules are clear of container can be opened only at point of stuffing but due to our paperwork and follow up, we obtained permission to destuff the container in Mumbai and was permitted to transfer goods to another liner. 

With this effort we missed only one vessel (a weeks delay) rather than minimum 03 months delay which would have happened due to the procedure of shifting container from mumbai to delhi, legal process and then restuff and ship to Mumbai for onward carriage which could have caused considerable delay and damage to customer.


Responsibility for Results

For sensitive freight, Intercont as a principle provides specific instructions to airlines on handling. The airline ignored the instructions and the cargo got damaged.

We refused to work with the airline for over 2 years till they reverted to our satisfaction with the procedures which would ensure safety of cargo. 

What was at stake was $1.5m of business (2012 figures), and significantly reduced our margin but we stuck to our decision as clients’ goods damaged on our watch is unacceptable.

We offered to compensate the client, but they refused because they saw clearly that it was lack of follow-through on the part of the airline that caused damage.

Case Studies


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